The Pros And Cons Of Comparative Public Policy

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Understanding comparative public policy
One will keep asking why two countries with similar jurisdiction can experience different development processes: one country is well-developed, another one is staggering, hardly developing. Comparative public policy study seems helpful for garnering knowledge in the pursuit of understanding that matter. The area of study has become an important source of answers and solutions for public policy matters, but is not free from a few daunting challenges.
In understanding the public policy realm, experts have never agreed upon one general description. Hughes (2012) explains that some argue that public policy is part of public management process with an addition of economic methods. Some others explain that
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The new forms refer to the shift of policymaking from government-oriented to market-oriented, meaning less governments’ intervention in the market. (Subramaniam, 2000). That assumption has recently been severely challenged as aid programs have mostly failed to help developing countries move to the developed league. Capano et al (2014) finds that the shift has failed since the new forms of governance are found not necessarily better, or more effective or efficient, or even more democratic, than the existing traditional systems. In this sense, comparative public policy might find itself facing a few daunting shortcomings.
Firstly, the complex context of public policy across nations raises a problem for comparative public policy: there is no guarantee that the same terms from different jurisdictions mean the same thing. Pollitt (2011) introduces the term "equivalence problem" referring to the phenomena that the same terms such as corruption and governance used in different countries can have the same
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Moreover, the approach enriches theoretical frameworks built up from the empirical connections between different policymaking models and processes constructed and operated across different sectors, organizations and nations (Gupta, 2012; Capano, et al, 2014)
Lastly, despite the criticism of its poor impact on real world policy problems, comparative public policy allows various entities to identify their major basic requirements for better performance. Comparative study helps them benchmark their necessary basic performance to others ' from different sectors and regions. One of the examples is The Human Development Index by UNDP which compares countries ' performances based on the basic indicators for any states to develop: life expectancy, education, and income per capita indicators.
For a better understanding, take a look at a study conducted by Prastowo et al (2015) which compares a specific policy area across nations. The study focuses on comparative tax policies in three nations (Brazil, Indonesia, and South Africa). Apart from the proposed policy recommendations, generally, the study concludes that the recent policies have resulted in poor revenue performance that lags far behind that of the developed countries. Investigation into the composition of revenues is conducted using developed countries as a benchmark for

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